Tag Archives: reading-for-pleasure

The Long Lasting Impact of Short Stories

16 Feb


Hooray! I have returned to the wonderful world of reading. Before I had my daughter, my bedtime routine involved reading in bed before going to sleep. Once I became a mother, I found nothing quite as important as sleep and rest. Now that I have adjusted (more or less) to my new demands as a parent, I find that I need to include reading-for-pleasure in my life to give myself a much needed break from everything else and use a side of my brain that is deteriorating spending all day with a ten month old! Since most of my reading happens in smaller spurts (the luxury of spending a rainy afternoon curled up on the couch is gone), I have found the short story genre to be a perfect match for me.

I grew up reading short stories and one of my earliest memories is my father reading aloud The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry during the holidays. I love anything by Flannery O’Connor, Hemmingway and Jhumpa Lahiri and recently discovered my new short story idol in Alice Munro (female! Canadian! Pulitzer Prize!). For Christmas, my father gave me Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (a collection of her short stories) and it re-awoke my reading hiatus. While I wanted to devour each story, my lack of free time and my new pace of life forced me to slowly savor the stories and indulge in the mastery of her writing and storytelling.

I am sure in the near future I will find the time and energy to crack open a novel, but right now the short story is all I need to get by.

Here are a few suggestions of short stories (and short story collections) that will amaze you:

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Prouix

The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

The Looking Glass by Anton Chekhov